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The Figure in the Carpet - Henry James

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The Figure in the Carpet by Henry James





The Figure in the Carpet

I HAD done a few things and earned a few pence - I had perhaps even 
had time to begin to think I was finer than was perceived by the 
patronising; but when I take the little measure of my course (a 
fidgety habit, for it's none of the longest yet) I count my real 
start from the evening George Corvick, breathless and worried, came 
in to ask me a service.  He had done more things than I, and earned 
more pence, though there were chances for cleverness I thought he 
sometimes missed.  I could only however that evening declare to him 
that he never missed one for kindness.  There was almost rapture in 
hearing it proposed to me to prepare for THE MIDDLE, the organ of 
our lucubrations, so called from the position in the week of its 
day of appearance, an article for which he had made himself 
responsible and of which, tied up with a stout string, he laid on 
my table the subject.  I pounced upon my opportunity - that is on 
the first volume of it - and paid scant attention to my friend's 
explanation of his appeal.  What explanation could be more to the 
point than my obvious fitness for the task?  I had written on Hugh 
Vereker, but never a word in THE MIDDLE, where my dealings were 
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